Bharti Infratel Net Rises 19% on 3G, 4G Expansion
Co expects investment by telcos in 3G, 4G networks to grow further in coming year
New Delhi: Bharti Infratel, India’s only listed telecom tower company, said its fourth-quarter net profit rose 19%, as mobile carriers invested aggressively in 3G and 4G networks, expanding installations three times amid surging data consumption.
Consolidated net profit for the three months ended March rose to .₹ 662 crore from .₹ 558 crore a year earlier, the unit of India’s top 2 mobile carrier Bharti Airtel said in a stock exchange filing. Its revenue increased 7% to .₹ 3,162 crore. Operating income climbed 9% to .₹ 1,444 crore, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) also rose 9% to .₹ 844 crore. The quarterly profit beat brokerage IIFL’s estimate of a 4.6% rise.
Infratel’s board approved a buyback of equity shares for as much as .₹ 2,000 crore through an open market sale, subject to shareholder approval. The company will offer a maximum of .₹ 450 for each share, which translates into 4.44 crore shares, equivalent to 2.34% of its equity. Bharti Infratel shares declined 0.8% to .₹ 363.8 at the close on the BSE. The results were announced after market hours. The company ended the quarter with 88,808 towers. Chairman Akhil Gupta said there was a major rollout of broadband networks along expected lines, “with the number of 3G and 4G installations growing over three times the previous year.” He added the trend would “further accelerate in the coming year” and Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers would be in the best position to capitalise on this growth. Bharti Infratel is a stakeholder in Indus Towers, the country’s leading tower company.
For the year ended March, firm’s net profit rose 20% to .₹ 2,382 crore and revenue climbed 5% to .₹ 12,308 crore. Operating free cash flow for the full year was up15% to .₹ 3,204 crore. The company, which went public in 2012, sets up towers on which telcos place their base stations – devices that emit signals to mobile phones.
Consolidated net for the three months ended March rose to 662 crore from 558 crore a year earlier